In the wake of Thomas Gibson’s departure from Criminal Minds after long stretches, the question remains the same for all fans: Did Aaron Hotchner deserve better?
For 12 seasons, the intrepid agents of the Behavioral Analysis Unit in Criminal Minds were led by the cool and cool agent Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner (Thomas Gibson). A man of fiercely upheld principles, Hotchner saw the BAU through some of its toughest cases over the years, and was a dogged and dedicated hunter of serial killers who felt above the law. His last appearance on the series was in season 12’s “Sick Day”, after which he retired from the BAU to spend more time with his surviving family.
Hotchner’s departure came as a result of a little behind-the-scenes drama: Thomas Gibson he was involved in an altercation serious enough to warrant his firing, leaving the writing team with no choice but to have the character walk away. Gibson’s ending on the show ensured that Aaron Hotchner didn’t even get a proper farewell episode What Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) in its final episode, also in season 12.
Without a doubt, Hotchner served as a leader and inspiration for the BAU team, leading from the front lines in the field and encouraging his agents to excel in their efforts. He is an experienced profiler who, when confronted by a lawyer trying to smear the BAU in the season 3 episode “Tabula Rasa”, proceeds to profile the lawyer using a series of deductions with such precision that he effectively demolishes the man’s case. He gazes down the barrel of a serial killer’s gun in the season 5 premiere episode, “Nameless, Faceless,” and doesn’t blink when the killer fires a bullet that barely reaches his shoulder.
Hotchner serves as the moral compass of Criminal Minds, pointing to true north and ensuring the team stays focused, professional and accurate. His sudden departure in season 12 left many fans disappointed and also left the character without a proper send-off, the kind the character deserved, even if the actor didn’t.
It’s a written truth that if you have to kill off or retire a beloved character, you need to make sure their final adventure offers some closure. The events of the abrupt departure of Thomas Gibson of the program they left the character of Aaron Hotchner as little more than an afterthought, she unceremoniously dismissed the series with a desire to spend more time with her family.
While the decision to write Gibson off the series was justified, perhaps a final episode could have been written for the character, giving Hotchner one last case to solve with the team. Although we have not heard that Thomas Gibson could return for the next revival of Criminal Minds at Paramount +there’s always a chance that the series will find a way to give Hotch the sendoff he truly deserved.
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Criminal Minds: Why Agent Aaron Hotchner Deserved a Better Series Ending
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